Posts Tagged ‘VN Services’

VN Services holds it’s 2015 company renewal.

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Our staff just successfully  completed our annual company renewal.  Each spring, we go off-site to review the past year, and set goals for the upcoming 12 months.

We really look forward to this process each year, because it’s a time of team building, reflection and analysis, where we set actionable goals for each other and the company.

On the last day of the renewal, we also take a ½ day to just “have fun” as a team. This year we enjoyed the delicious cuisine at The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, followed by a quick walk through the Old Arcade and a 2 hour  tour of the historic Cleveland Public Library.

Jim Bettinger, librarian from the Science and Technology Department, was our guide.  We started our tour in Tech Central and Maker Space, where we were mesmerized by the 3-D printer, laser engraving and cutting machines, and vinyl cutter.

Our tour also highlighted the Maps Collection, Photograph Collection and the Special Collections sections of the library.  The library staff was eager to answer any questions and show us many fascinating pieces of both Cleveland and the United States’ history.  Their expertise and enthusiasm made our time in the library seem to fly by, and of course the architecture and art at the library is breathtaking!  We are sure to go back soon to take in more of this beautiful Cleveland treasure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking Labor Hours is Essential to a Construction Project’s Success

Monday, November 24th, 2014

It may be preaching to the choir, but the topic of tracking labor hours per scheduled task completions is worth repeating.

How does a construction project end up with a positive project outcome? It’s not brain surgery! Make sure that the labor hours estimated for tasks are actually being expended (and not exceeded) and that the tasks are completing by their early finish dates (Performance Based Scheduling).  You will see a project that is on time, on budget, making a profit, getting an occupancy permit, and having many other successful project outcomes.  Get in, get done, and get out!

Notice that this does NOT mean that you should start tasks prior to their early start dates. There may be instances when starting tasks early makes sense; however, if the logical relationships between activities are correct, starting tasks early will probably cause negative impacts to someone else on the job because you’ve changed the plan that everybody else anticipated following. Changing the planned approach to the project could increase costs and cause delays. Work the plan that everyone on the construction team is in agreement with, and work it to the early dates.

Likewise, with labor hours. There are times when throwing more bodies into a task or working selective overtime makes sense. That said, the estimated labor hours for each activity task exist for a reason; so you shouldn’t try to accelerate tasks without consciously considering the possible impact to the labor hours that will be spent. The estimated labor hours represent the budget for each task, and every time you go over budget you risk losing money (this includes the Owner getting exposed to change orders or claims for additional costs).

Labor hours are the primary controllable cost on a project, and knowing (on a weekly basis) where and when labor hours are being expended isn’t just good project management – it’s good business!  Your project managers and superintendents should have their finger on the pulse of “labor hours budgeted vs. labor hours expended” activity by activity.  They should be acutely aware of this on a daily basis so they can track, catch, and adjust for deviations on a weekly basis.

If you don’t know the status of your labor hours, and if you are not prepared to work the schedule to the early dates, then you are not in control of your destiny on the project. Not controlling your project means that you won’t know if you made or lost money until it’s too late.

We tell our clients that they should be making money on purpose.   Working the plan, while controlling labor hours is a good way to do just that.  Our project management and project oversight services are the perfect, affordable tool to help your team stay on track!

s600A Labor chart2

Wishing Mehmet Turkel Good Luck

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

We first met Mehmet Turkel at an SMPS (Society of Marketing Professionals Services) function where he was speaking on “Turning Contacts into Clients: Client and Business Development”.   We have since become more than business associates.

We have enjoyed fine dining at Anatolia Café, where Mehmet regaled us with tales of Turkey. He introduced us to a Raki, an unsweetened, anise-flavored alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey, and changes color when introduced to ice. We have attended a Lake Captains baseball game, bringing home a win.

Now, we wish Mehmet good luck on the next phase of his life, as he leaves Technical Assurance.  We expect to hear great things about half-marathons, volunteering engagements, and perhaps a vacation somewhere warm.  Maybe at Anatolia’s over a Raki?

Does something on your construction project stink?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Bob Vail and Tucker Elliott attended the Cleveland Engineering Society’s Leadership Breakfast, and listened to a presentation by Mr. Julius Ciaccia. Mr. Ciaccia is Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD). Mr. Ciaccia discussed how far the Cleveland area has come in cleaning up the local rivers and Lake Erie, the sheer size of the sewer system, as well as the challenges of working with a multitude of community governments. The current main tasks being undertaken are reduction of combined sewer overflows and improvements to storm water management.

Tucker Elliott makes the observation that sewer system management is a lot like project management – if it breaks down, something starts to smell bad really fast! So if you’re on a project and something doesn’t smell right about how it’s being managed, give us a call!

Diana Chalmers Celebrates 10 Years at VN Services

Friday, May 23rd, 2014